Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ending on a high note

We have continued to visit homes and build stoves over the past few days. We have built over 20 stoves total now, and we always have someone on the waiting list for another stove. Yesterday we explained to a woman why we seal the cracks between bricks in the stove with clay; to increase stability and to retain heat. When we visited her later in the day she had not only sealed all of the cracks in her stove with clay, but covered the entire stove in clay. This resulted in an sturdy stove with a very attractive look. We were all really impressed with the way her stove looked, and asked her if she would help us create a stove like hers for our public demonstration. Last week, we arranged for Nana Kontihene to set up an announcement over the village loud speakers advertising a sawdust stove demonstration. That demonstration happened to day, and we were all very pleased with the results.

The woman who covered her entire clay brick stove with mud/clay

We built two stoves for the demonstration, one from cement cinder blocks, and one from clay bricks coated with additional clay/mud. At 4 PM this afternoon, we lit the stoves and cooked a pot of rice to show how our stoves perform. Dark clouds and a light drizzle threatened to stop our demo, but thankfully, the rain held off for the time being. There were probably 30 villagers who showed up in addition to an abundance of kids. After the demonstration, we interviewed several people to get feedback on our stoves. We received only enthusiastic comments and positive remarks from those watching, and several people requested that we come to their homes to help them build one. Several people commented that it is easier for them to collect sawdust than to collect firewood because the sawmill is much closer to their home than the areas, which are available for gathering firewood. People liked how quickly our stove heated up the pot and noticed that our sawdust stove produced less smoke than their traditional three stone fire using firewood.

Today is our last day in Patriensa before leaving on a cultural excursion for Cape Coast. It was great to end on a high note with our demonstration. We have been working hard for the past 2 weeks, and are ready for a little relaxation time. We will be spending 2 nights at Cape Coast, and one night in Accra before returning to Patriensa for our final week on the project.

Some boys helping us carry bricks on their heads


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